Ainge: Celtics would have taken Embiid at No. 6

Ainge: Celtics would have taken Embiid at No. 6
June 27, 2014, 11:00 am
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There had been rumors that Joel Embiid would not slide past the Celtics at No. 6 if he fell that far.

He did not fall that far.

The Philadelphis 76ers weren't scared away by Embiid's stress fracture in his foot, and took him with the third overall pick in Thursday's NBA Draft.

Boston ended up taking Marcus Smart at No. 6, and by all accounts it sounds like they're happy with the pick.

But on Friday, Danny Ainge joined the Toucher and Rich Show on 98.5 The Sports Hub to discuss the NBA draft. He was asked point blank if the Celtics would have taken Embiid at No. 6 had he been available.

"Yes we would have," Ainge said.

Ainge admitted that the injuries did scare them a bit, but not enough to steer clear.

"He was not red flagged," Ainge said, "meaning stay away at all costs. He was rated a little bit less than that with risk. But he was a guy we were looking at had he fallen."

Our own A. Sherrod Blakely reported that the Celtics were interested in trading for the No. 1 pick held by Cleveland. Of course, the Cavs ended up keeping the pick and taking Andrew Wiggins. It's unclear if they would have taken Embiid with the first overall pick.

"That's a little bit overblown," Ainge said. "We did try. But there was no real serious conversations as Cleveland was I think determined to take the No. 1 pick. It really wasn't much in the cards."

The Celtics are in desperate need of a center, so it makes sense that they'd take a risk on a guy like Embiid, considered by many to be the best player in this draft if healthy.

Boston's search for a center continues . . .